I’m excited to step into the role of ERA chairman for the 2014–2015 term, and especially honored to be the first chair from the payment processing industry. One of the reasons I joined the Board of Directors and then ran for chair was that I believe in the importance of payment processing as it applies to the direct response infrastructure. Payment processing is a vital function for marketers and their companies—if you can’t accept credit cards as a form of payment, your business is likely to fail.
Marketers looking to avoid expensive mistakes and reprimands or even those looking for a second opinion on the messages that its advertising may be communicating to consumers and the type of evidence they should be considering to support those messages can now avail themselves the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program’s new product offering, the ERSP Copy Review.
ERSP is excited to announce its newest product offering, the ERSP Copy Review. The ERSP Copy Review service offers marketers the opportunity to have ERSP, a third-party self-regulatory organization, review print, broadcast, radio, and online advertising. In a Copy Review, ERSP will:
During the ERA Government Affairs Fly-In on May 20, the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its inception. Ed Glynn, partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and current chair of the ERA Government Affairs Committee, was among those who attended the event in Washington, D.C., to commemorate ERSP’s significant milestone. ERA recently talked to Glynn about the genesis of the program and what he believes poses the biggest challenges for ERSP moving forward.
In the early 2000s, the direct response television industry was under heavy fire by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over questionable or unsubstantiated claims made by a small faction of dishonest marketers. Their actions not only polluted the airwaves, but also drew consumer complaints. This gave government regulators enough ammunition to place the entire direct response industry on notice.
During the opening day of the ERA Government Affairs Fly-In, Mary E. Power, president and CEO the Council of Better Business Bureaus, congratulated the DR industry on 10 years of successful self-regulation.
BY LEANNE GABINELLI - Today marks ERSP's 10-Year Anniversary Event. The half-day conference will feature three exciting panels, and include opening remarks by Lesley Fair, senior attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, Federal Trade Commission.
Last month, advertising self-regulation was featured on a panel at Social Media Week NYC. The panel, titled “Advertising & Legal Issues in Social Media: How to Get it Right” was moderated by Terri Seligman of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, and featured Bevin Murphy from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Laura Brett (Staff Attorney, NAD), Katie Goldstein (Senior Staff Attorney, CARU), and Leanne Gabinelli (Staff Attorney, ERSP). The panelists discussed legal issues that arise on a variety of social media platforms, including celebrity endorsements, blogging, and how kids navigate social media.
BY LEANNE GABINELLI - The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) recently reported on the last three months of activity, under its program to review telemarketing scripts and calls by companies participating in its Telemarketing Review Program, as well as its expansion to monitor recordings of live real estate investing seminars. You can read ERSP’s General Activity Reports.
ERSP has recently broadened the scope of its monitoring review with the inclusion of EvTech Media, LLC, as a new participant in the ERSP Review Program. As part of its review, ERSP will monitor audio recordings of live, free real estate seminars offered by EvTech. The other participants in the program are Professional Marketing International (PMI), Prosper, Inc., FortuneBuilders, Inc., and Income Solutions, Inc.
BY LEANNE GABINELLI- This New Year is particularly exciting for the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP), as the program celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2014. This is a seminal moment for the direct response industry, and any success of the program, and self-regulation in general, is a direct result of the industry.
2013 has been an exciting and productive year for ERSP. In addition to its ongoing monitoring program of direct response advertising, ERSP continued to work on and expand its Telemarketing Review Program.
In February, ERSP conducted an informational webinar about the program. ERSP staff have also spoken at numerous industry events, including ERA Great Ideas Summit in Miami, ERA European Conference in Rome, the Government Affairs Fly-In in Washington, D.C., ERA D2C Convention in Las Vegas, and at the ERSP Summit in New York City.
Over the past 12 months, through both competitor challenges and its own monitoring program, ERSP has reviewed a variety of different product types, ranging from dietary supplements to OTC medical devices. ERSP continues to monitor and review wealth creation products, which has been a hot button issue for the FTC.
In 2014, ERSP hopes to continue to expand its offerings to direct response marketers, and provide ongoing guidance to its Telemarketing Participants. We will also be celebrating ERSP’s 10-year anniversary with a conference that will bring together industry professionals.
Thank you for your support of self-regulation and Happy New Year!
Peter Marinello is director of ERSP and vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
In the course of its Telemarketing Review Program, ERSP routinely monitors telemarketing sales calls and scripts of participating companies, and keeps an ear out for hot-button issues such as earnings claims, sales pressure, selective and/or qualified enrollment, and other FTC red flags, such as failure to notify the customer that the call is being recorded and/or monitored, and whether a sales representative properly identifies his or herself and their respective company.
Today, ERSP hosts its second-annual ERSP Summit at the Ritz Carleton New York, Battery Park. At the event, titled “Emerging Issues in Direct-Response Advertising,” industry professionals will focus on the prevailing trends in the direct response industry, including the recent regulatory scrutiny of telemarketing practices and lead generation advertising. At the half-day workshop, panel members will highlight key issues from the past year and discuss ERSP’s latest self-regulatory endeavors.
The Summit will come on the heels of the annual two-day NAD Conference. At the NAD Conference, speakers will examine legal trends and address key issues in advertising claim substantiation, use of survey evidence, digital disclosures, advertising in social media, FTC Enforcement priorities and much more. The conference will provide attendees with practical guidance to enhance their use of the advertising industry's self-regulatory forum.
Each year, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council hosts a three-day conference to discuss issues pertaining to national advertising from the regulatory and self-regulatory perspective. Last year, theElectronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) joined with a half-day conference of its own, the ERSP Summit.
One of the important hallmarks of a successful system of advertising self-regulation is to be responsive to the needs of the industry and work with its responsible members to provide useful products and services. Since its inception in 2004, ERSP has had the good fortune to avail itself of the expertise of ERA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Bill McClellan, who has been an invaluable resource to not only our forum of advertising self-regulation, but also to the many other complicated facets of this evolving world of direct response advertising and electronic retailing.
About two years ago, with Bill’s assistance, ERSP implemented a self-regulatory mechanism specifically tailored to address ongoing issues regarding telemarketing practices in the coaching and mentoring industry. The program, which also monitors lead generation advertising, began with two member companies and, after some positive feedback from both state and federal regulatory agencies, has now begun welcoming new participants. One idea that has been ruminating is to expand this telemarketing review program beyond the coaching and mentoring industry to include other interested members of ERA in an effort to provide ongoing guidance regarding the truthfulness and accuracy of telemarketing representations that are being disseminated to consumers. Of course, as always, ERSP administers such an endeavor while always keeping in mind the fundamental principles that bring the necessary credibility to our efforts—transparency and a demonstrated commitment to advertising self-regulation.
Home shopping traces its origins back to the late 1970s, with the sale of can openers on a radio talk show. The can openers sold out, and before consumers knew it, the first shopping television channel was born. Since then, networks such as Home Shopping Network (HSN), QVC, and Jewelry Television have enabled consumers to shop for goods from the privacy of their own homes, instead of traveling to a brick-and-mortar store. In fact, online shopping as we know it is simply an evolution of home shopping.
Direct response marketers had a front-row seat to all the action on the Hill at the ERA Government Affairs Fly-In on May 21-22. First-timers as well as returning attendees gathered for the two-day event to voice their concerns about issues affecting the industry, attend informative panel discussions, and meet face-to-face with Congressional leaders.